De-Oil Game Tournament

De-Oil Game Tournament
Oil (Petróleo) Board Game
A series of mediator events promoting cross-border debate on the legacies of oil refineries and (their) sustainable futures.

Refinery Board
Porto, Portugal
An Observation, Research and Debate Group Exploring the Environmental, Architectural and Socio-Cultural Constructs and Impacts of Oil Refineries.
Field of work
Architecture, Urban planning, Ecology, Curating, Research
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

Refinery Board is an interdisciplinary team, led by Inês Moreira and Joana Rafael, two architect-researchers from Portugal, dedicated to exploring the multifaceted dimensions of oil refineries, spanning from their historical roots to their prospective impacts. Through archival research, field observations, and curatorial work, the group further engages in organizing debate events, deploying innovative techniques and creative exploration to foster awareness about the past, present, and potential futures of oil refinery landscapes.
Operating within a fluid cycle of research and creation, the group's initiatives took flight in 2022. Their primary focus revolves around documenting and analyzing the ongoing dismantling of the Portuguese refinery in Matosinhos, Leça da Palmeira, viewing this process as a pivotal transformation for both the land and society. Their initial findings were unveiled in the comprehensive report titled "A Huge Platform for Decarbonisation: Subtraction Architecture at the Former Refinery in Matosinhos" (2023), published in the Portuguese Architects Journal (J-A) - as a timely response to the unveiling of new urban plans set to replace the refining operations.
Currently, the team is engrossed in organizing a series of De-Oil Game Tournaments, a concept first introduced at the Porto Design Biennale 2023. In its initial phase, two designers were commissioned to update and produce a new version of the discontinued 1970s board game titled "Oil (Petróleo)", to facilitate discussions on the refinery's legacy, challenges, and models for urban redevelopment. A series of public games were organized, accompanied by thematic discussion tables, culminating in the publishing a podcast series. The objective of the game and tournament was to delve into urbanization and petroleum product consumption paradigms, as well as the processes involved in dismantling, decontaminating, and redeveloping petroculture lands, particularly those of (decommissioned) refineries.

The De-Oil Game Tournament seeks to build upon the discussions ignited by the Oil Tournament event, which took place during the Porto Design Biennale 2023. It aims to extend this discourse beyond borders and geographies facing the challenge of comprehending the strategic importance of refineries. These facilities are not only crucial for lowering energy costs and decarbonizing economies but also play a pivotal role in the Transition to New Energy Economies.
The De-Oil Game Tournament initiative endeavours to gather local narratives intertwined with broader themes of industrial development, ecological sustainability, and urban planning. By treating the legacy of oil refineries as a lens through which to examine the need for holistic approaches to urban growth, it underscores the importance of balancing economic progress with environmental stewardship.
Central to the project is the revisitation of the discontinued 1970s board game titled "Oil (Petróleo)." Through this revisitation, the De-Oil Game Tournament aims to expand the discourse, fostering collective understanding and dialogue among stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. It provides a platform for exploring the multifaceted dimensions of refinery landscapes and their implications for present and future urban environments. Serves as dynamic platform for engagement, fostering dialogue and innovation around the evolving landscape of oil refineries and their impact on communities.